A Home by the Sea

Image of A Home by the Sea
Release Date: 
October 18, 2011
HQN Books
Reviewed by: 

“. . . a delightful love story with just enough intrigue and complexity to make it exciting and different . . .”

Washington, DC, is where Grace Lindstrom has fled to mend her broken heart.

When her fiancé perishes in a crash, Grace learns about his many infidelities; she immerses herself in her work—authoring multicultural cookbooks and researching herbs and exotic foods. She labors over a project focusing on the White House chefs through the ages, hoping her work will help her forget.

One cold and snowy night, Grace leaves a party and walks by a convenience store, overhearing a strange noise. She decides to check it out and finds a bedraggled, half-starved cat with her tiny kittens that someone has cruelly dumped and abandoned. Horrified, Grace determines she must save these creatures.

Meanwhile, Noah McKay, a government worker who handles dangerous explosives, notices Grace. He follows her and upon finding her in the store alley, comes to her aid by securing the felines. He piles them and Grace into his car where he takes them to his parents’ home knowing they will all be cared for.
With a storm raging throughout DC, Noah’s parents welcome Grace and the animals with open arms. They warm them by the fire, renourishing the critters only to discover a puppy among them. Grace’s heart goes out to the abandoned creatures while being enveloped by the McKay family, finding a warmth and closeness she has never encountered.

When Grace was a young child, her alcoholic parents deserted her. She went to live on Summer Island, Oregon, with her grandparents, who, though they fulfilled her needs, were not demonstrative or particularly affectionate. Once grown, Grace travels to and lives on several continents where she studies, writes, and falls in love, albeit with the wrong man.

Though Grace sees something special in Noah, she also realizes that she can never survive another heartbreak—regardless of the fact that she is drawn to him and his boisterous and loving family. Noah also senses an intense attraction, though he knows he cannot offer Grace a life with him because of his dangerous job—a job he loves.

When Grace’s grandfather lands in the hospital, she rushes home to care for him. There she is embraced by her dearest friends. She and Noah still communicate, but how can their relationship work from miles away—especially when he is not completely upfront about his career?

A Home by the Sea is a delightful love story with just enough intrigue and complexity to make it exciting and different from the norm. Tension, friendship, and learning about oneself mix to combine a worthwhile read, though the ending is somewhat abrupt. The author also graciously supplies a pattern for a knitted tea cozy.